September in Film: Must Watch List

Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy share their own perspectives of the ups and downs of their relationship through the years, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader are estranged twins who mend their relationship following simultaneous suicide attempts, and Jane Fonda is the matriarch of a less than normal family brought together for a funeral.

[September 12]

"The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby" (wide)

Director: Ned Benson (debut feature film)
Cast: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Viola Davis 
Grade: A- [commentary]

Synopsis: A story of differing perspectives of Connor Ludlow and Eleanor Rigby, a young married couple living in New York. Him looks at their relationship from Connor’s angle, while Her follows Eleanor’s. During the course of their daily lives, the couple encounters a life changing event that threatens the stability of their marriage. Them is a shorter form compilation of Him and Her.

A beautiful film that is so much about connecting and empathizing with the two lead characters. I saw it in the order of Him then Her which I contend is probably the best way to experience it. I wondered how they would package this (3 hour) movie when it was released to the masses and now I know, primarily as Them, an edited 2 hour version that I’m sure will sacrifice a lot of the integrity of this ambitious project. Do me a favor; seek out Him and Her.

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"Beyond the Lights"

A talented young musician on the brink of super stardom struggles with the pressure of her new-found success.

The more I watch this, the more I really into it. It has a certain magic to it, a certain delicate loveliness. Much of that I attribute to Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who I have come to love as an actress after her very beautiful, very dignified performance in Belle. Beyond the Lights is from Gina Prince-Bythewood, the writer/director of Love & Basketball, a film that pretty much defined the 90s black romance movie genre. Those were some great times for black films. Maybe this film can start a re-emergence.

Beyond the Lights is currently playing at the Toronto International Film Festival and will hit US theaters on November 14.

Giveaway: Fandango Gift Card in Honor of “Life of Crime” - CLOSED

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The good people over at Partnershub are giving away a  $15 Fandango gift card in honor of the theatrical release of the film Life of Crime starring Jennifer Aniston, Mos Def, Tim Robbins, Isla Fisher, Will Forte and John Hawkes and as a reader/follower of my blog, it could be yours. The movie is based on the work of Elmore Leonard, author of a number of crime books which eventually became the movies Out of Sight, Get Shorty, Jackie Brown…. and now Life of Crime. 

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What You Need To Know

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Contributor For:

The Large Association of Movie Blogs (LAMB) [Film Festival Contributor]
Cinematic Katzenjammer [Film Contributor]
Blerdnation [Blog Contributor]


Recognition: 

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Nominated for Best Movie Genre Blog - Independent Cinema as voted on by The Large Association of Movie Blogs (2013)

—> Read more about this blog here


Causes:

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AFFRM (African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement) empowers black indie filmmakers with collaborative, simultaneous theatrical distribution.

Currently In: 

Atlanta, GA (follow me on instagram)

Playlist: 10 Songs that Remind Me of Indie Films
I’ve always said that music and film go hand in hand and for me, these songs take me back to the movies from which I first heard them. By the way, can you name the indie film that the above image is from? The one too is all about the music. Enjoy:
"Can’t Help Falling in Love"/Ingrid Michaelson from Like Crazy
"There’s a Light that Never Goes Out"/The Smiths from (500) Days of Summer
"The Blowers Daughter"/Damien Rice from Closer
"New York, New York"/Carey Mulligan from Shame
"Falling Slowly"/Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova from Once
"The Scientist"/Coldplay from Wicker Park
"Bad Girls"/M.I.A. from The Bling Ring
"I’m Kissing You"/Des’ree and "Talk Show Host"/Radiohead from Romeo+Juliet
"Bittersweet Symphony"/The Verve from Cruel Intentions High-res

Playlist: 10 Songs that Remind Me of Indie Films

I’ve always said that music and film go hand in hand and for me, these songs take me back to the movies from which I first heard them. By the way, can you name the indie film that the above image is from? The one too is all about the music. Enjoy:

"Can’t Help Falling in Love"/Ingrid Michaelson from Like Crazy

"There’s a Light that Never Goes Out"/The Smiths from (500) Days of Summer

"The Blowers Daughter"/Damien Rice from Closer

"New York, New York"/Carey Mulligan from Shame

"Falling Slowly"/Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova from Once

"The Scientist"/Coldplay from Wicker Park

"Bad Girls"/M.I.A. from The Bling Ring

"I’m Kissing You"/Des’ree and "Talk Show Host"/Radiohead from Romeo+Juliet

"Bittersweet Symphony"/The Verve from Cruel Intentions

New York Film Festival (NYFF) 2014: Film Picks

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I am not going to make it up to Toronto this year for TIFF (still crying all the tears on that one) but I’m surely going to be back in NYC for NYFF. Especially since it is opening with the new film from one of my favorite directors adapting one of the most bat-shit crazy book I’ve read in awhile (Gone Girl) and it’s ending with an odd-ball character comeback story from one of the most wildly interesting directors working today (Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). The main slate of 30 films for this year’s festival has been announced and from it, here are my wish list of films to check out outside of the opening and closing night selections.

"Inherent Vice"

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Jena Malone, John Brolin

In Los Angeles in 1970, drug-fueled detective Larry “Doc” Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend. Why I’m Interested: I have pretty much jumped on the bandwagon of media outlets calling it the most anticipated film this year. I don’t know if I would go that far in a year that is seeing a new film from both Christopher Nolan and David Fincher, but the constant chatter has me interested. Plus wildcard Joaquin Phoenix always does some interesting things in front of the camera…

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"The Longest Week"

Affluent and aimless, Conrad Valmont lives a life of leisure in his parent’s prestigious Manhattan Hotel. In the span of one week, he finds himself evicted, disinherited, and… in love.

I posted this promo photo from this film 2 years ago and lately I’ve been wondering when it would ever see the light of day. I’m not sure what the delay was but The Longest Week will be release in theaters and on VoD next month. I was interested in it then from just a photo, and I’m still interested in it now with the trailer.

This trailer is giving me “Jason-Batman is an American wannabe English Alfie and Arthur vibe with the greatest collection of WASPs since The Romanticswith seemingly just as much group intermingling. Ahh, and the great Jenny Slate (Obvious Child) lends her comedic talents for some great side-eye-ly commentary on everyone’s flaws.  Olivia Wilde co-stars as the objective of two men’s affections, Billy Crudup being that other man. 

Seems like a good time to me.

"Laggies"

A woman stuck in permanent adolescence lies to her fiancé about going on a retreat and spends the time hanging out with friends instead.

I had the pleasure of seeing this cute little indie from Lynn Sheldon (director, Your Sister’s Sister) at Sundance 2014 and enjoying the warmth of it all. Knightley with a smooth American accent was great as a woman shedding her old high school clique to hang with current high schoolers and learn about growing up and search for fulfillment is sweet and relatable. Knightley and Chloë Grace Moretz make an surprisingly charming duos, each giving of each other their experiences. More importantly, however, Sam Rockwell continues to be that actor that makes you gitty inside in whatever film you put him in.

You can see the duo of Chloë Grace Moretz and Keira Knightley, with a little Sam Rockwell added in for flavor, on screen in select US theaters October 24.